My name is Reiko Yamada and am am a mother, wife and nurse living in Tokyo, Japan. I am a student and teacher of Viniyoga and Vedic chanting, and also a Viniyoga Therapist.
The beginning of my relationship with Yoga was 18 years ago, when I experienced a miscarriage, which led me to a downward spiral of depression. I had pursued Yoga in the many countries I have lived in, but it never resonated with my heart until I met the tradition of T Krishnamacharya.
My first encounter with this tradition was through the book “The Heart of Yoga” written by T.K.V. Desikachar. This book solved my doubts and confusions I had towards Yoga, and ultimately presented me a glimpse of Yoga’s true nature. I was intrigued by it and hoped that one day I could learn this form of Yoga. In 2010, my family and I moved to Delhi, India, due to my husband’s job. This destiny brought me to Yoga in the tradition of T Krishnamacharya.
While living in Delhi, I attended workshops and private lessons provided by the Krishnamacharya yoga studio. In 2012, I attended my first yoga therapy session in Chennai, and I was taken back by their powers of observation, analysis and decisiveness. They provided a tailormade Yoga practice with a gentle and unique approach. Consequently, I joined a Yoga Teacher Training, followed by the Vedic Chant Training and completed both. Further, I signed up to the 3-year Viniyoga Therapy training, where Dr Kausthub Desikachar was the primary faculty and became a certified Viniyoga Therapist in 2020. Currently, I am a student of the advanced Vedic chanting teacher training.
The teaching I received in Chennai is teaching like no other, as it allows the student to be immersed into its environment and culture, which lets one feel and witness the people and how their daily life flows. Thus, the teachings are deeply struck in the heart and provides far more spiritual learning than any other school/studio. During the Viniyoga therapy modules, I have learnt the ways to self-reflect and self-heal as a therapist, which ultimately became the light I was seeking in the darkness in which I was lost.
I feel safe as a woman student of Kausthub Desikachar. He tackles women-specific problems with ethics and respect towards privacy. He has assisted me and others using his keen power of observation and offers the needed guidance for each care seeker. His ability to mix humour in real problems modern women face creates a sense of comfort and safety in me. My favourite words of Yogasutra are Maitri (friendliness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (appreciation), a d Upeksa (non-judgementalism). He perfectly represents these in his teachings, and it is what makes us as women feel safe while discussing private issues. I believe that many would feel the same.
I believe Kausthub respects and honours my perspectives and needs as a woman. We have three stages of life, and in my case, I am in the 2nd stage. Most women hold many responsibilities as a mother, wife, a member of the family and society and are required to sustain a family. These can deplete one’s energy. I was so focused on taking care of others that I forgot to take care of myself. In my 2nd stage of life, I can have many challenges and conflicts, which is why I need to protect my energy, strength and stability of both my body and mind. I have learnt the importance of self-nourishment through Viniyoga under Kausthub’s guidance.
In the modern era, women are allowed to live in various ways, such as a housewife with jobs or a single woman working for their careers. With women having different unique responsibilities, Viniyoga’s one-to-one approach can adapt to any age, race, responsibility and history. Viniyoga provides tailored solutions for all women.
The biggest challenge I had was the fact that I had to travel to India multiple times while living abroad in different countries. This required the understanding of my family and balancing my time to make it possible. English is not my first language, so it was especially hard for me to keep up with the intensive content that was all in English, but the urge for knowledge helped me overcome this.
I would recommend Kstudy of the Viniyoga tradition with Dr Kausthub Desikachar because it is based on the practical philosophy, which allows a holistic practice approach to each individual. One can learn a lot about relationships and the experiences here become cherished memories.
Furthermore, both his mother Mrs Menaka Desikachar and Kausthub pass on their deep wisdom from their hearts. The school as a whole is very organised, and all staffs are very kind and considerate. This is important because being in a foreign country can already be very stressful and hectic, but they provide support throughout one’s stay. I have appreciated this very much.
On top of that, students all over the world are connected online through Sanga, which gives hope and courage during these hard times due to COVID-19.
I hope many people around the world can have the opportunity to attend this superb school and experience first-hand of what I could.